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By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter 12 of William Morris’s News From Nowhere? The concept of property trumps everything. ******* “I suppose you know pretty well what the process of government was in the bad old times?” “I am supposed to […]

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Proving the Need to Resist Government by Shadows

Last night on Interchange I talked with Scott Horton of Harper’s Magazine about government secrecy–more specifically the secrecy of “dark budgets” and “dark operations” and “dark lords”–inherent in the National Security State. [A Power Unto Itself: Scott Horton on the National Security Elite] Horton traces the history of the meaning of “government by the people” […]

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**UPDATED**In Contradiction Against Itself: The CIA and The Government

UPDATED: 5/21 [I've added one example of Slahi's book as an illustration of the Report on Torture--there are many others I may add later.] Last night on Interchange (The State of Terror: Guantanamo Diary) the conversation centered on the literary nature of Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary.  Guest Scott Korb has written about the Diary as […]

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The Impossible Principle

Melville wrote books that could be said to be about: Christian hypocrisy in the Marquesas, authoritarian coercion, military rule, torture, the Leviathan state, labor and brotherhood, wanton slaughter for the benefit of human “profit and progress,” the fraudulence of democratic institutions, the manipulative mysteries of the priestly caste, the politics of the confidence scam, the […]

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A Manual on Suppression of Dissent

A Manual on Suppression of Dissent

Does it never occur to so many folks that monotheism–belief in an authoritarian ruler (male, though I don’t suppose Gee Oh Dee needs genitalia)–is the locus of totalitarianism? Furthermore, Judaism–as Christianity and Islam would later do–codifies intolerance. The story of the Exodus, to take the most obvious example, reads today like a Stalinist manual on […]

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The Place Where They Cried

Audio Recording by Douglas Storm of a Letter by Ralph Waldo Emerson to President Van Buren regarding the forced removal and relocation (1836 and 1839) of the Cherokee Nation from their lands in Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina to the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) in the Western United States, which resulted in the deaths […]

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The Wages of Progress…

People get interested and involved in issues and dilemmas that primarily affect them personally, physically, specifically.  I get that.  Me too.  Yo tambien. However, it seems to me that a particular injustice or unfairness normally has tentacles that seek to attach themselves in myriad sucking ways to all aspects of life generally. The recent arbitrary […]

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A Reasoned Resistance

Below we find (in bold) the reason why, as I put forth in “The Plunder Years,” it is necessary to stand against systems serving utilitarian and martial purposes; we find these to be argued in similar terms privileging a quantifiable end defined by a biased conception of “the good.” Systems need good men and women […]

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Our Whimpering World

Listen, recently we have discovered that the Obama Administration is negotiating in secret with other nations to create a “trade” agreement that will circumvent, override, trump, all other types of “agreements.”  This means any and all laws.  This means the laws you are chained to are not applicable.  The game is over–the corporation and its […]

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The Seeming Banality

Besides, this Bland, the master-at-arms, was no vulgar, dirty knave. In him—to modify Burke’s phrase—vice seemed, but only seemed, to lose half its seeming evil by losing all its apparent grossness.  (Melville, White Jacket) No doubt evil can be normalized, institutionalized, and even made socially just and proper in its place.  Does Arendt hold Eichmann to […]

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Building the Insanity In: Ex Machina

This is not a movie review. This is me thinking about empathy. Last night, lonely little ol’ me sat in […]

Dislodged Giant: Can We Use Stevens to Interpret Dickinson?

You tell me. “I thought that nature was enough” by Emily Dickinson I thought that nature was enough Till Human […]

By Metaphor Alone

Motivation matters. If the scientific method (which we make into the massive all-encompassing abstraction of SCIENCE to compete with the […]

By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter […]

Now You Know What A Horse Is: Views On Education in the 19th Century

Schools are scenes of extreme manipulation and coercion. Our national and state interest in them is less than benign, or […]

A Rule of Storytelling and Unhappiness

As my friend began reading William Morris’s News From Nowhere, or, An Epic of Rest, I thought I might take […]